Saturday, April 12, 2008

Corpus Christi

As noted on the Shreveport Diocesan website, the Ordination/Installation of our bishop-elect, Msgr. Michael Duca, will be at the Shreveport convention center on May 19th at 12:00 p.m. In discussions about this exciting event for the diocese, there were many who were hoping it could be done at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans. It is truly a beautiful church, and it would be nice to do it there... but it only holds a limited number of people. For such a memorable occasion, it is preferable to have it somewhere else rather than have such a limit on who can attend.

I am certain those factors entered heavily into the decision-making process. It is my understanding that Archbishop Hughes, of New Orleans will preside over the ordination and installation. I am looking forward to hearing about the music selections that will be made and how tickets to the Mass will be distributed. I have heard that the reception following will also take place at the convention center, which makes logistics easier as well.

Back to the topic at hand... after the ordination/installation, bishop-elect Duca's first Mass presiding as bishop will be at St. John's on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi (according to what I have heard), which falls on May 25th. That date should also mark a very big celebration at the cathedral...

There is a wonderful chant in the propers for Corpus Christi (that I'll probably never get to hear at Mass due to its length, unfortunately). It is the sequence (that follows the alleluia prior to the Gospel reading):

Lauda Sion Salvatorem, Lauda ducem et pastorem, In
hymnis et canticis.

Quantum potes, tantum aude: Quia maior omni laude,
Nec laudare sufficis. Laudis thema specialis, Panis vivus et vitalis Hodie

Quem in sacrae mensa cenae, Turbae fratrum duodenae
Datum non ambigitur.

Sit laus plena, sit sonora, sit iucunda, sit decora
Mentis iubilatio.

Dies enim solemnis agitur, In qua mensae prima
recolitur Huius institutio.

In hac mensa novi Regis, Novum Pascha novae legis,
Phase vetus terminat.

Vetustatem novitas, Umbram fugat veritas, Noctem
lux eliminat.

Quod in cana Christus gessit, Faciendum hoc
expressit In sui memoriam.

Docti sacris institutis, Panem, vinum in salutis
Consecramus hostiam.

Dogma datur christianis, Quod in carnem transit
panis, Et vinum in sanguinem.

Quod non capis, quod non vides, Animosa firmat
fides, Praeter rerum ordinem.

Sub diversis speciebus, Signis tantum, et non
rebus, Latent res eximiae.

Caro cibus, sanguis potus: Manet tamen Christus
totus Sub utraque specie.

A sumente non concisus, Non confractus, non
divisus: Integer accipitur.

Sumit unus, sumunt mille: Quantum isti, tantum
ille: Nec sumptus consumitur.

Sumunt boni, sumunt mali: Sorte tamen inaequali,
Vitae vel interitus.

Mors est malis, vita bonis: Vide paris sumptionis
Quam sit dispar exitus.

Fractor demum sacramento, Ne vacilles, sed memento
Tamtum esse sub fragmento, Quantum toto tegitur.

Nulla rei fit scissura: Signi tantum fit fractura,
Qua nec status, nec statura Signati minuitur.

*Ecce panis angelorum, Factus cibus viatorum: Vere
panis filiorum, Non mittendus canibus.

In figuris praesignatur, Cum Isaac immolatur, Agnus
Paschae deputatur, Datur manna patribus.

Bone pastor, panis vere, Iesu, nostri miserere: Tu
nos pasce, nostuere, tu nos bona fac videre In terra viventium.

Tu qui cuncta scis et vales, Qui nos pascis his
mortales: Tuos ibi commensales, Coheredes et sodales Fac sanctorum

O Zion, praise thy Saviour thy Prince and thy
Shepherd; praise him with hymns and canticles.

Make bold to praise him with all thy strength;
for he surpasseth all praise; thou shalt ne-er be fully equal to the

A special theme of praise, the living and
life-giving bread, is on this day proposed.

Upon the table of the Last Supper, to the group
of the brethren Twelve, this bread was truly given.

Let our praise ring out full and resonant, a
song of the heart, joyful and radiant.

For today is a most solemn festival, recalling
how this sacred banquet first was instituted.

At this banquet of our newly crowned King, the
Paschal mystery of the New Law bringeth to its end the ancient Passover

Novelty replaceth that which is old, reality
chaseth away the shadows, radiance doth eliminate the night.

That which Christ accomplished at this supper
he ordered to be done again, in memory of him.

Taught by his divine precepts, We consecrate
the bread and wine, a sacrificial victim for salvation.

This sacred doctrine do Christians receive: the
bread into his body and the wine into his blood is changed.

What thou can neither grasp nor perceive is
affirmed by ardent faith, beyond the natural order of things.

Beneath these double appearances - mere signs,
and not the realities themselves - is hidden the most sublime of

His body is food, his blood, a beverage but
Christ remains entirely present under each.

His flesh, when eaten, is not torn apart,
broken asunder or divided; intact he is received.

Though one alone be fed, though thousands be
fed, all receive the same reality, which perisheth not at meal's

The good and the guilty may all have part
therein, but with different results: life or death.

Death for sinners, life everlasting for the
just; mark well the varied effects of this single food.

And when the bread is fragmented, be thou not
troubled, but remember: he is present in each fragment just as much as in the

The hidden reality is not divided, the sign
only is fragmented; He whose presence is signified, suffereth no diminution in
stature or in strength.

* Behold this bread of Angels which hath become
food for us on our pilgrimage; it is truly the bread of God's children, let it
ne'er be thrown to dogs.

Scripture announced it figuratively by Isaac's
sacrifice, by the paschal lamb and by the manna given to our

O Good Shepherd and most true bread of life,
Lord Jesus, have mercy on us;feed us and protect us, bring us to the vision of
eternal riches in the land of the living.

Thou who knowest and canst accomplish all
things, who dost feed us in this mortal life, make us thy chosen guests, the
co-heirs and companions of thy saints in the heavenly city.

Note: this can be sung in a shortened version from the asterisk to the end...

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